Inna and met when she decided to expand her horizons by taking coaching training with me in 2009. Not only did she take well to the training, but she showed a hunger for everything I offered that was discipleship-oriented, especially as it related to counseling. She later told me that before she started taking our prayer counseling training, she had one days before asked God for a way to study counseling and only thereafter learned about our course. Inna emerged as a leader in both forms of discipleship; now she is certified as both a Christian life coach and she is our main trainer in prayer counseling, which means that she has taken over my role in that area.
From a family who earlier in the last century immigrated to Russia from Korea, Inna knows what it is like to not fully belong in one place. She has had a heart for missions to the least evangelized and for children ever since coming to Christ as a young adult. She has served as a children’s ministry worker at church for many years, and she worked as a residential counselor at The Harbor here in St. Petersburg, which serves young adult orphans coming out of the state system. Inna loves to just hang out with her only daughter and to take photos of everything – she’s very gifted.
Inna has become a key weapon in our ministry arsenal. People come to her who are very broken and find hope and transformation in their relationship with Christ. She is a patient and able trainer of others. Last year she had several members of one church, including the pastor and his wife, and they have been so happy with the training and the results, that they have invited Inna to come lead the training again this year out of their church, which is in a suburb of St. Petersburg, so they will be able to draw from the surrounding community.
Inna is also a key player in our Orphans Reaching Orphans project, where she mentors, coaches, and counsels young adult orphans that God brings our way. With Lena, for example, she helped her last year work through some major abuse that Lena suffered as a child in the orphanage, then helped her move forward in sorting out her life purpose. With Katya, the goals were more modest: befriending her and helping Katya learn how to cook soup. (Most orphans are so coddled by the system that they graduate with almost no significant life skills.)
More recently I asked Inna to help me in counseling the wife of a pastor for whom I am doing marital counseling. The wife was so closed and broken that the husband doubted anything would help. She herself initially balked at the idea of trusting anybody but me with her life. But now this woman now completely trusts Inna, and her relationship with the Lord has dramatically turned a corner that is beginning to impact her marriage too.
Interestingly, this new thrust of ministering to leaders Inna felt God led her to anticipate in prayer. She has become a prayer warrior and passionate intercessor for the city, which spirit has powerfully impacted our own leadership team with a deeper heart to see the broken church reformed and walking in its destiny. Having attended the Kairos world missions course, she also has become passionate about getting trained as a trainer to use the course as an outreach of our ministry to mobilize the Church into a deeper commitment to reaching the unreached. I have no doubt that she has only begun to tap the depth of what God has in store for her and through her.